Let me start with a resounding yes. You can wear flannel shirts with corduroy pants and look fabulous. However, even though this Norman Rockwell style has been around for decades and is part of Americana, there are limits.
You will only want to wear a long sleeve flannel button-up shirt with a pair of long corduroy pants during the coldest months of the year. That’s because, like a great Rockwell, these clothes are seasonal. It’s very hot when you have these clothes on, as the fabrics are naturally made to be cold season material.
See more about what I mean with these examples of how to wear flannel shirts with corduroy pants.
Holiday Festive at its Finest
When you are going out to a holiday festival or party for the season, and baby, it’s cold outside, and you need to look the part—you wear your flannel and cords. To start with, the majority of flannel shirt patterns are very seasonally appropriate with checkered red and green. This color palate makes the flannel shirt best suited for holiday wear.
After searching for flannel shirts for Christmas, for example, you can come away with a Scottish plaid red shirt or a fleece-lined flannel shirt. The tartan style of Scottish plaid in gray is another fitting look for the holiday season. LL Bean is a great place to go for holiday gifts that have initials added for those interested in personalization of flannel.
The addition of camel colored corduroy makes this ensemble a star for the season. Brown and tan hues offset the bright colors of flannel shirts. This looks great for all ages, too.
When my son was in elementary school, we had a holiday school concert to attend, and he wore an outfit very much like that. With the use of camel-toned corduroy and green plaid flannel, the outfit screams, “Christmas tree,” and everyone loves a great Christmas tree during the holidays.
I will suggest adding a tee underneath the flannel if you are dressing a little kid. They are more likely to get overheated and are unable to control their body temperature. By wearing a layer of flannel over a tee shirt, they can easily take off the extra layer and stay cool.
This helps you as a parent avoid temper tantrums and meltdowns that are basically a child’s way of coping with what they cannot control.
For Anyone Living Near Seattle
I live in Tacoma, Washington, which is just south of Seattle. They have their own very specific and distinct dress code up their in the bigger sister city. You are going to fit right in if you wear these clothes—a flannel shirt over a tee shirt, preferably all in black or gray and not bright at all, and a pair of corduroy pants with a pair of hiking boots, preferably Timberland.
There is a small town of Timberland just west of Seattle and while it’s not where the Timberland brand is from, they do have a standout library on a school bus.
If you are ever in that neck of the West Coast, you can see the bus yourself and maybe check out a book or two. But truly only if you are wearing flannel and corduroy, plus the Timberland boots. While in Seattle, you can also purchase a fancy flannel shirt from REI, which has a flagship store in Downtown, or at Northwest Riders.
At Northwest Riders, they have a Hayes Northwest Hooded Flannel that will allow you to fit right in with the PNW crowd. According to their website, “Oh flannel. A northwest staple in the closet for all true PNW natives. Whether the grunge wear of the 90’s during the Seattle music scene all the way to the tech employee of today…flannel just doesn’t go out of style.”
Related: Can You Wear Flannel with Shorts?
When Flannel and Cords are No Good
Let’s start by saying you should not wear this outfit when kayaking or doing water activities. Flannel and cords are the worst in water. Flannel is made from wool in many instances or has some wool woven into the weave. While this is great for antimicrobial purposes and to help minimize body temperature fluctuations, the wool also shrinks when wet.
Therefore, if you are wearing flannel with wool, which is a thicker material, and it gets wet, you are likely to have a felted shirt. Wet wool rubs together and becomes matted, leaving you with a smaller shirt in the process.
Therefore, avoid your flannel when boating or doing other water sports. The same goes for corduroy pants. This fabric is also thick like flannel, and corduroy is often not as forgiving as spandex or Lyrica.
Therefore, while it is a warmer weave, it is not as flexible. Going on hikes in corduroy pants, as a result, is not recommended. Also, when corduroy fabric gets wet, it is not able to dry as easily.
This is an issue if you are doing strenuous exercises that involve sweating. Not good for the cords, and your pants will stretch out and not return to their previous shape until you wash and dry them, if so.
Bottom line for this outfit: Perfect for holidays and winter months when family photo sessions with Santa are in order. Not so perfect when you are trying to be active and outgoing with nature and sweat inducing activities.